CAF President Ahmad Ahmad Comments on AFCON 2019 Stage for VAR Debut

Video Assistant Referee VAR will be used from the quarterfinal stages of the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations, Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad says.

Ahmad made the announcement during a Press Conference at the Cairo International Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations.

“It’s a measure of prudence. When you see the various countries that use VAR, they don’t rush into it from the start. It’s a technology that a lot of people don’t completely use yet,” Ahmad said in Cairo, on the eve of the opening match between hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe.

“It was planned for the semi-finals to start with, but we insisted that we have to go a little bit further. The executive committee decided on the quarter-finals so that it’s a success.”

VAR will be making its debut in the competition after it was used at the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederations Cup.

The technology was first used in a competition involving national teams at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Unfortunately, its maiden usage in Africa during the second leg of the CAF Champions League final between Tunisian club Esperance and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco suffered setback and created unprecedented ripples across the football community around the world as Wydad walked off the pitch in protest and refused to return after a faulty VAR system was unavailable to judge a disallowed equalizer.

CAF ordered the match to be replayed and has chosen Mediapro as the provider responsible for VAR at the African Cup of Nations that runs from June 21 to July 19.